Writing / Visiting Author
George’s first book, THE FIB AND OTHER STORIES was published in 1975 and is on the National Curriculum. His second book THE SWAP AND OTHER STORIES, was published to great acclaim and this was followed by his third collection, THE TRICK AND OTHER STORIES published in 2006.
In 2015 THE FIB AND OTHER STORIES celebrated 40 years in print. To mark this his publisher, Macmillan, brought out a special 40th Anniversary edition incorporating his three collections into a single volume.
He was delighted to be asked by Michael Morpurgo to be one of the contributing authors for his anthology to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the second world war, STORIES OF WAR AND CONFLICT. (Macmillan)
George is in frequent demand in Britain and abroad as a visiting author to schools, colleges and universities and for his one-man show THE PIGEON AND ME based on two of the stories from his second book.
In 2000 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Bradford in recognition of his work as an actor and writer.
Some of George’s Books:
THE FIB AND OTHER STORIES (Macmillan) This bestselling collection of funny, bittersweet and sometimes disturbing stories about growing up in the 50’s has to date has sold well into the millions.
“Funny and moving…a rare gift”The Guardian
“Well worth waiting for…This is a book about childhood as well as for children, and equally successful on both counts”The Independent
“The stories have so much strength and depth that you want more”The Times
“An excellent book”Daily Telegraph
“The stories are excellent…Layton’s strength is that he remembers and puts to work all the unease and turmoil of childhood…He performs the neat trick of writing from his own experience in a way that speaks directly to the children of today”TES
THE SWAP AND OTHER STORIES, George’s second book, is a prequel and was published to great acclaim in 1998. Both books have been published in several countries including France, Italy, Scandinavia and the USA where THE SWAP AND OTHER STORIES (G P Putnam) has been named by the New York City Library in the top hundred books.
“With humour, insight and emotion, Layton explores he moral dilemmas of a self-proclaimed coward…Those who consider the young narrator’s growth a painful trial should reserve judgement until they reach the closing story’s upbeat note.”Publishers Weekly (USA)
“Gently humorous…struggles with the complexities of early adolescence…The dialogue rings so true that readers will hear their laughter echoing.”School Library Journal (USA)
“A funny and perceptive collection of stories, which deal with strong issues…”Manchester Evening News
“I would not have thought that George Layton could have equalled THE FIB but THE SWAP is every bit as good, if not better…The emotions that these stories arouse are so universal, so timeless, that any child will identify with them.”The School Librarian
“The Swap is funny, ironic, sad and nostalgic; but better than those things, it has the smell of truth”Bradford Telegraph & Argus
Some of George’s Books:
THE TRICK AND OTHER STORIES, set in the late 40’s and early 50’s, was published in 2006 and was received to unanimous acclaim.
“…The world of 1950s northern England is movingly evoked in this collection of stories, which will remind many adult readers of the work of Bill Naughton. Here you will find the same plain language, robust story lines and shrewd humour, though Layton deals with some edgier themes, and deftly plays with timelines to enhance suspense. Death stalks into some of the stories, sharpening our sense of the unnamed narrator’s courage and vulnerability, but this book is much more to do with life particularly the interplay of joy, sadness and compassion.”Books for Keeps
“…I loved the book. Bravo! Bravo! Full of great insight…thought-provoking and enjoyable…George Layton is a rare writer. He has a compelling way of telling tales – unputdownable.”Michael Morpurgo
“..TheTrick has wide appeal. Adults will appreciate the nostalgia, humour and poignancy and today’s children will enjoy the tales of childhood. Although set in the early 50’s, they deal with timeless issues, bullying, peer pressure and life in a single parent family…beautifully evokes a feel of childhood pain, excitement and confusion…George Layton tackles the complexities of early adolescence with a truth that’s as funny as it is moving.”Bradford Telegraph & Argus
“…a real treat to be able to plunge into this new collection and immensely gratifying to find Layton’s world just as compelling as ever…The stories unerringly conjure up the atmosphere of war-weary early 1950’s England, each is superbly crafted… But George Layton’s real theme is his advocation of tolerance and understanding of humanity in all its varied forms including the cross-dressing Major who misses his wife, or the wheelchair-bound, brain-damaged Eric Shackleton,once champion wrestler of Yorkshire…
These humorous, sensitive but real stories are just aching to be read…”
Some of George’s Books:
In The Fib, The Swap and The Trick, George Layton’s collections of short stories evoke a nostalgic, atmospheric view of growing up in the 1950s. Now together for the first time in Kindle Edition.
Feedback on Author Visits :
We thought George was an excellent communicator, who made an immediate impact on the boys!P J Keenan
A brilliant session, I would thoroughly recommend George to any school.Jean O'Carrol
Engaged with the children well, animated reading and obviously committed to the subject. An excellent visit, which brought to life stories that the pupils had read in the classroom.
Layton is a rare writer. He has his own voice, and a compelling way of telling his tales – which are always unputdownable.Michael Morpurgo
Your visit was a great success – staff and boys talked about you for days afterwards.Richard Aitchson